Category Archives: Pics

Local Media Writing About Me..

That whole month was so surreal…

Between the First Friday gallery at the BC Brewery Outpost and this article being front page…I felt so blessed to have had so much support during such trying personal times…I wish I could thank those behind the scenes that have been so loving to me – that unfortunately won’t be acknowledged…

A Reminder of Why I Take the Pics I do

Some of my public pics this year…

I wish I could share all of the others – but some of the shoots I do are for those souls only – but still beautiful in so many ways. Just felt like sharing what I have left in this life that gives something to the area I live within…so much of my film work is cataloged at the firehouse…I hope should any of you wish to see those pics that you can go to the BCFD office and ask to be able to look through the albums in there..anything from the early 1990s through 2005 was typically taken by me…Leo Kuhnlein before that time frame…

My BCE Bus Driver 4 Decades Ago – Also Skypark and the Boardwalk

What started as a spontaneous history talk in a local store once again turned into me scanning more pics on each side of the album page from where I had originally sought just one picture.

My bus driver from many moons ago who virtually all children that went to Boulder Creek Elementary in the 1970s and 80s will remember – was Mrs. Young. I ran into her this week and we had some fun moments remembering how things were long ago. The people listening were fascinated to hear about how different the buses were before they all went to the “suicide” fronts later in the 80s (no engines in front anymore).

This was the famous Bus #32 doing the Highway 9 route and picking me up at what the front entrance to Meadowood used to look like…

As I looked through the surrounding pages of this particular family album I noticed some backgrounds that have drastically changed since the time of disco and Woodstock buses.

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This one of Skypark when people could still fly into Scotts Valley caught my eye. Our family is shown here being flown out by another family member. The barren hillside (from the quarry) behind the plane is something I always recall as a kid driving through the sandhills. The following pics are from the Boardwalk.

Shown here are some of my cousin Greg Miller, friend Tim Wells and mom. This is looking towards East Cliff and that park hill. I am going to try and shoot this spot and see how much of the housing and fauna have changed in four decades. The reason I included this other one (with my great-grandma Lyon) was the cars in the background. That was the best part of the Boardwalk; those cars you could actually drive on the track (where that kids area is now). Those were the only vehicles I drove outside of the ranch until I was old enough.

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Santa Cruz Boardwalk – 1976

I showed this one more for the fun of the clothing than the trestle and what was the new building overlooking the river mouth. Jennifer Miller, Kathryn Robechaud and Jerryne King (Philleo) also shown here. I will keep this one short…just thought a few of you might like the backgrounds…

My Favorite Superbowl Memory

I often think about the fun and amazing memories my parents made in those heyday times decades ago at the golf course; that story-filled era when Boulder Creek held host to a variety of the Oakland Raider contingency. From the 1960s into the next decade the team and staff would come stay at the fledgling golf links – of which dad had built the original 100 condos and club house. Some of them even had ownership on a couple of the new condos.

Dad’s group of friends in those times became part of a circle that still communicates today; and later into the 1980s the most famous of that group: John Madden, had retired from football and had started his foray into major broadcasting and video gaming. We were having a Superbowl party and John and Virginia were invited along with their core group of local friends. John had announced the Raiders Superbowl the prior year, but he had this one off.

Now, the reason I tell this story is not some semblance of any claim to something, just insofar that it is a memory I hold dearly of how my life was before the house burned down; so many thoughts and feelings that cannot be replaced nor replayed no matter how much I dream.

These two pictures survived the fire – hence the condition of how they appear. But when taking photographs like these as a teenager, I had no idea of so many things about photography and capturing famous people in ordinary moments, I was just trying to do something right for my dad right then.

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Hearing John talk during the big game about what was transpiring will be something I wish I could remember in greater detail; but several moments that day will be etched. One of them was my best friend here winning a bet. Even then I was using a Canon – definitely the days when you better get it right because it might be another two weeks before you see the results.

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Shortly after this picture was taken a fun moment of John breaking that chair in grand fashion occurred. During halftime they played golf into the arena, teeing off from the house as Todd and I chased the hits down to say who was closer to pin – would love to know the amounts being bet between the players. The Niners won that year, but I am pretty sure I listened to everything else going on in that group – lots of golf course history in these pics; Wayne Stigall, Hal Wells, Bob Lyons, the Casilli family, my dad.

I got asked this year as with most years if I have any special memories of the Superbowls…I smile and think and feel I got pretty lucky; Superbowl rings on the hands of arguably the brightest personality and career the sport has shown, sitting in my old living room as we watched the sport he coached in two other Superbowls – amazing.

As the souls started to die through the years, one in particular that loved the sport and will be a another story on another day, comes to mind. Hal Wells passed away three years ago this week, and two years later my dad – but one thing they both had in common was the love of the Raiders and of the couple that are John and Virginia. These two pics are from Hal’s funeral.

On the left are Hal and John holding a familiar trophy at the clubhouse, on the right are four of the people that were sitting in my old living room a few decades before in that first picture. As I look at these, I wonder if I will even know such friends that fifty years later they would show up at my funeral…hard thing to find.

Why the post now? Anniversaries I guess; Superbowl month, people passing, golf season starting for my son, moments in time. I know that is why I became a photographer before I even knew what that meant – moments in time.

A Memorial Ode to a Local Gem – Little Basin

I received a sad correspondence this week from a widower – the wife of a man I had worked for several years ago: Chuck McCarthy. I was lucky enough in that employment to have served with him at a historical and (little known) beautiful gem of a park: Little Basin (recently becoming a state park).

History

Little Basin is a local oasis hidden in the mountains adjacent to one of our state’s most famous parks; Big Basin. After being home to a Native American tribe for many years, the land became a grazing and logging area, followed by ownership via a well-known Silicon Valley company: Hewlett Packard. The company eventually created a private campground and gathering area for their employees and families and as the company peaked in size and success during the 1980s – so did their facility here. A full-time steward lived on the site at a residence constructed large enough to house this person’s family. They helped oversee the acreage, camps, buildings and recreation areas. Each summer, divisions of HP would hold large picnics with upwards of thousands in attendance during the weekend galas. With those events came the need for fire protection during the peak weekends – hence how I became acquainted with Little Basin throughout the late 80s and early 90s.

Modern Outline

After HP’s budgets and size declined significantly, so did the park’s usage. Eventually, it was seen as a financial loss, so the area was gradually deeded to the State of California (there are many more details and involvements but I kept this as a simplified version for time’s sake). The state’s budget was not in a stable enough condition to take this area under their direct care either. So for the first time in modern parks history, a private company was hired to manage and run the park (and along with that to also operate a shuttered park in Sonoma County – Sugarloaf Ridge State Park…that is another beautiful story about a community coming together to save a park. Both Chuck and I had worked there also).

The steward that company hired to oversee the operations of Little Basin was named Chuck McCarthy. He and his family moved into the residence and quickly became known in and around town as the hard-working Jersey guy running that park where most locals had never even visited. He hired several staff members to help with the workload of maintaining the 50 camping sites, cabins, buildings, pump stations, recreational facilities and best of all – the reservoir. The small lake held one of the best kept and guarded fishing secrets in the SLV. The dam had been built generations before for a local water supply to accumulate, with fish eventually populating the waters.

One of the seasonal employees Chuck hired was me. I was intrigued to have the chance to work at such a beautiful place that I had gathered so many fun memories at while with the fire department.

Chuck’s personality was outgoing and forward to say the least. He literally worked his ass off, and even though he was a dedicated company man (United Camps, Conferences and Retreats – UCCR) he loved working at the park just for the sake of bettering the site. He had been working there for only a couple of years, but he cared about keeping that park running and making it a successful hybrid for the State to embrace and support. Even though I volunteered to take a 2-month assignment at Sugarloaf later that summer in 2012, he and I had become decent friends.

After returning to my assignment at Little Basin, Chuck confided in me he was battling cancer. His stories of Jersey and adventures in life were tall, amazing and he had the scars to prove them. I saw this as another task he would take on and defeat in his journey. Even though the seasonal workload was over, I would keep tabs on his progress. When he chose to move back east to be closer to home during his fight, I would inquire with trusted staff at LB to check on his progress – and rumor had it he was fighting it.

January 2016

Almost one year to the day of losing my dad to cancer, I received an email. Chuck was roughly the same age as me, and as we have all heard too many times in all of our lives, Chuck was gone. I wish I could have attended his memorial wherever that was because I had some fun stories only those of us at Little Basin could know. One even involved me catching the main field on fire and Chuck literally sprinting to the rescue (the whole story is so worth retelling someday).

I understand in my old age now how people come and go throughout your life, but this time he will be one of those that sticks with me. He had some grand plans for that park, and I sincerely hope they all happen someday. Sadly, his most important place to relax and forget the world was the reservoir. He and I would have some meaningful talks there looking over the colorful waters. The powers that be well above our heads decided it would be safer to drain the lake quietly – which they did recently. It still seems criminal to me destroying such beauty (and their reasons will – spare the term – never hold water with me..nor Chuck.)

Hence I have included several pictures of what an amazing place it used to be – knowing the memories I have there of many friends and family I shared times with at that lake – and of one other dude who hired me and allowed me to have one of the most amazing summers of my life – thanks Chuck…here is a picture of my family doing the exact thing we all loved to do even though it was “not allowed anymore”.

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Some Lesser Known Pics of SLV Fires

Circa 1956 and a few years later..like finding the shots that show a different angle not always shared…

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Obviously the IOOF side of Boulder Creek circa 1950s.

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What I absolutely love about this shot is the other 500 pictures of this day face the infamous Burl Theater fire of 1956…yet this is the only one I know of that shows the crowd and main intersection of town that day…I have written chapters about this year in SLV fire history…someday to post.

And the only one I know of that captures Felton’s most famous fire until the Community Hall fire in the 1990s…of which I have a video but need to find ways to screen capture and share…

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This pic shows Boulder Creek’s main engine showing up to help attack the Castella’s fire in Felton…the exact date is argued but I will just say it happened shortly after WWII.

Two Decades in the Life of Downtown Boulder Creek (north end)

Some decent representations of the changes downtown went through in less than 15 years. I know only a couple of the pics as being taken by Leo Kuhnlein…unknown credit on the others. Leo was the fire department photographer prior to me taking on most of those duties from somewhere in 1990/1991…

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A pancake breakfast line in the old days…(still in my lifetime though I believe)

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Between these two pics you can see the buildings on the Liberty Bank side, then the empty lot that became the BCFD tree sale location for years…

Pep Rocca’s green/white pickup parked on the street there..

Facing south. The Chevron/Standard station (long since torn down).

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And finally a pic from 1961 showing what the rec district yard and building used to look like.

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And finally the new construction can be seen for what would become Liberty Bank…

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More Pics from my Flyover 27 Years Ago

Had a few requests to add more pics from my flight and history post earlier… so these are picscan quality, and maybe someday when I am feeling frisky I will hi-res scan the negatives and see what I can get out of them.

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Some tidbits for historians:
– The Hudson Rockery barn still standing behind Johnnies.
– The Olympic gas station and residence next to it (Bertetta’s property)
– Peach Cottage still standing (before the last big fire – another prior history post on the blog here)
– Easier to see the addition to Johnnie’s where the other gas station used to be…(will post those pics later)
– Post Office had not been built yet…(empty lot by Johnnies)

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Tidbit for my fire department friends:
– Todd’s beautiful 1969 Camaro parked in front of the firehouse.
– That yellow blazer was Mike Lord’s rig. He was the one that got BCFD into computers before any of the other fire department’s in the county…
– Ricky Gehrmann’s rig in front of the FD (an awesome Captain from back-in-the-day)
– You can see the old 2151 being stripped and the new one being fitted in back of the station

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A Very Talented Photog Showing My Dream Shot (and shoot)

http://www.karltaylorphotography.com/blog/hawk-flight/

Regarding more important things in the family…

Almost a month into this miserable feeling of not being able to smile, sleep or shoot pictures with my good eye – but I remind myself every day about how much pain and life-ending crap my dad is going through – and doing it with a smile.

Each day I try to spend some moments pretending nothing is wrong and to be strong when visiting the parents. A plethora of souls call and visit each week…guarantee if one stops by (when allowed) that the phone will be ringing. Hours of cribbage, football and hospice visits catalog themselves like a routine of busy work.

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Amazingly he did fit in a couple holes of golf this week with Blake and others.

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Meadowood has a changed energy; the one static thing in life we apparently all learn at some point about change…but in a naive fashion I thought this home would be impermeable to such difference. There are so many people to thank for their wishes and support to the parents, and the one small victory for my heart is watching my boy show up (in a variety of ways)…he is an amazing young man.

This was the sunset over the ranch earlier this week – a ranch built up by my dad for the generations that have lived here and will continue to for whatever years are bestowed upon us.

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And for the first time in my 40+ years – I got to treat the parents to a Thanksgiving dinner instead of them doing all the work – thank you sooo much to Charmian and the kids for the amazing help and food prep!!

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